In recent months there have several major disasters involving superhumans. A cry has gone out amongst the people to hold the superhumans accountable for their actions. Congress answer that cry with the Superhuman Registration Act. The act requires anyone having or utilizing any form of superhuman abilities to register with the government as a “living weapon of mass destruction.” Unfortunately this law splits the superhuman community.
Those for the act, lead by Iron Man, believe that this is the only way to show the people good faith that what they do is the right thing. Those against the act, lead by Captain America, believe it is against everything America stands for. The act is now law, and the lines have been drawn. Will you join Iron Man and the pro movement, or Captain America and the resistance movement? Regardless of what you choose prepare for a superhuman Civil War!
This is a brief background of Marvel Comics 2006 story-line entitled Civil War. It also serves as the background for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. If you haven’t read the comics don’t worry, the first few missions are set up to give you a little background before you have to pick a side. In fact, the game follows the comic story-line rather faithfully; with the exception of who joins which side. This is done as not to limit your character choices too much. Only a few characters are linked to a given side, with the remainder following your lead on which side to join.
The gameplay should be very familiar to most. It follows the formulas first developed in X-Men Legends, and carried into X-Men Legends 2 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance. In fact with the exceptions of the controls and some other fine tuning there are no major differences in the gameplay with the exception of fusions. Fusions are powerful attacks performed by any two heroes causing a variety of effects. Some are good for a focused area, some for clearing a room, and some for single enemies including bosses. Every pair of heroes supposedly has a unique fusion, however you will quickly learn that most are simply a variation on a theme. For instance Iron Man firing his repulsers at Captain America or Wolverine will both result in a dispersion of smaller beams throughout the room. That said, fusions are certainly a fun new component to the game.
However, as a fan of this series of games, I found myself a bit disappointed with this entry. The first major problem is the feeling that this game was rushed. Simple things like the lack of character choices makes this stand out. Since some of the heroes already have powers similar to other heroes, why not have more copies? Characters like Warmachine, She-hulk, Spiderwoman, or Firestar would be perfect for this. Just make a new skin for an existing character and call it a new character. Also, over half of the characters are not available until they are unlocked in game. With already light roster this was very disappointing, and I don’t want to be forced to play the game twice just so I can create my dream team of superheroes.
There is also a lack of alternative costumes. Since X-Men Legends the games have allowed you to unlock alternative costumes. A simple skin change for your character. But in MUA2 each character has only one alternative costume. Marvel is such a rich universe with years of history. I was really expecting that we would see more of that history in each entry, not less.
The second major problem is a severe lack of support by the developer. My issued above could be easily solved with downloadable content. Many other companies do it for their games: purchase new characters or new costumes for a few dollars. In fact, there was such content available as downloadable content. However after a few months it was removed as a “limited time offer”. I also ran into a character sticking bug in the middle of my base. A simple game patch could remove it, and in this day and age it’s a simple thing to do. Its these issues make it feel like the developer walked away from the game.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is a fun game with an interesting storyline for those looking for more of the same. The graphics are top notch and the controls are pretty solid. You could even play through multiple times on both sides of the conflict as each one has different bosses. It’s just a shame that the developer didn’t take advantage of the online resources. The game could have certainly sold a lot of DLC to all the Marvel fans out there, myself included.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
- Publisher: Activision
- Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii
- MSRP: $29.99
- Buy it from Amazon.com